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Our History

Elmer F. Karpe started in real estate in 1926 with a rented desk. In 1949 Elmer Karpe built his first office building at 920 Chester Avenue and in 1968 the firm moved to its present location on Ming Avenue. At the time, this was the only structure on Ming Avenue west of Freeway 99. It was the Karpe name that the U.S. Government called upon to appraise the land which is now known as Edwards Air Force Base.


The Karpe name was again called upon to do the appraisal work for Isabella Dam after World War II. Elmer Karpe was made the Honorary President of the California Association of REALTORS/® in 1959 and Realtor Emeritus by the National Association of REALTORS/® in 1977. He was a past President of the Bakersfield Association of REALTORS/® and served five years as director of the National Association of REALTORS/®.


Following in his father\'s footsteps, Bob Karpe continued "The Tradition of Excellence" and the company flourished under his leadership. He incorporated Elmer F. Karpe, Inc. on June 15, 1959 and served as president until mid-1971, when Governor Ronald Reagan appointed Bob Karpe as Real Estate Commissioner for the State of California. When Mr. Reagan was elected President, he wanted Bob to continue his service and named him President of the Government National Mortgage Association (G.N.M.A.) in Washington D.C. After serving in Washington D.C., Bob came back to Kern County and served as chairman of the board of Karpe Real Estate. He took an active role in community organizations, including California State University, Bakersfield. In 2005 the University recognized Bob\'s contributions awarding him an Honorary Doctorate. Bob is also a proud recipient of the Polly Hamm Award for Lifetime Achievement and the Salvation Army\'s William Booth Community Service Appreciation Award.


Today, the company operates under the name of Karpe Real Estate Center with Tom Teagarden serving as President. Tom has been with the company 21 years and reports directly to Robert W. Karpe. Today under the leadership of Tom Teagarden and his experienced management team, the company is involved in virtually every aspect of the real estate business. Karpe offers residential sales, relocation services, commercial and industrial sales, investments, residential development, property management, real estate mortgages and private money loans.